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Angry Postal Worker
28 Nov 2002
Ah, 1995. What a crap year. A head-on collision with a freight van rounded proceedings off nicely. I was on my push bike at the time. . .

But 1995 was the year the Berserk anime was aired, with a great opening theme by a band called PENPALS. So, hands up who's ever heard of 'em. Does anyone know if they're still around? Anyone got a discography of their music? Ever heard the joke about Saddam Hussein, two prairie dogs and the Prime Minister of China?

Actually, ignore that last one.
The name rings a bell, but i can't remember hearing any music from them. A quick look at CD-Japan reveals that they released a new album on october 30.

Here's the discography from their official website:
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You mentioned in your introduction that you like listening to The Pillows. Are Penpals similar?
Ah, excellent. Cheers for all that. Another question for you is; where can I get hold of albums by these more "obscure" bands at reasonable prices? Obscure is a bit of a misnomer in these cases; The Pillows have been around for about 14 years and Penpals have been playing for at least 8 (I'll know exactly how long when I check out the link. . .). I've found The Pillows at various online shops, usually retailing for about US$40, so I don't actually own a full album of theirs yet. Knowing that Penpals have released a new album is great though. Another one for me to want and not get. . .

Musically, I must admit I'm not sure how similar Penpals and The Pillows are. I've heard one Penpals song and about six or seven Pillows tracks. They have the same "vibe", if you get my meaning. Write their own songs, play their own instruments, do their own thing. I've got the Japanese DVD box set of Berserk and it's got a video for the Penpals song featuring live footage, and judging by their behaviour on stage, it looks like some of their stuff may be heavier than the track used for Berserk ("Tell Me Why"). Why don't bands like Penpals and The Pillows get more exposure outside of Japan? I can find CDs by Generic J-Pop Idol #376 easily and inexpensively, but it'd be easier to look inside my own small intestine than get hold of the albums I want. What a thought. . .

On a side note, the reason Penpals' "Tell Me Why" made such an impression is that it reminds me of the singy bit on a track called "Nerdy" by an American band called Poison the Well, from their "Opposite of December" album. That's where the similarities end, though. If anyone's interested, and if the moderators don't mind (considering they've no relation to Japan. . .) I've a couple of links that I could post to their official site and their record label (Trustkill Records).

Cheers again, Twisted. You can come with me when I take that peek at my intestine, if you like.
Just checked the discography, and "Tell Me Why" is from a 1998 album. How could I be so wrong about the original air date of one of my favourite anime? All the noxious fumes from inside my intestine, perhaps. . .

But 1998 was a crappy year, too. . .
I'll have to check out Penpals. Sounds like a great band.

@Cheap cd's
Japanese cd's hardly come cheap, unless you would buy Hong Kong or Taiwan editions.

I have, however, recently discovered a way to be able to get cheap original second hand cd's. You can order those at this website: 古本・DVD・CD・ゲームのネット買取・通販サイト ネットオフ
Problem is that they don't ship outside Japan yet, so once you've found your much desired Japanese penpal ask him or her to do the ordering for you and have it forwarded England.
Most of these second hand cd's are in excellent condition and some full albums come as cheap as 250 yen.
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